Monday, August 29, 2005

Efficient Running

Welcome back!

Running is a popular form of exercise in part due
to its simplicity and inexpensiveness. It requires nothing
but shoes comfortable to run in and some inexpensive
clothing. Also, it requires very little skill. Regular
running can provide you with increased cardiopulmonary
fitness, weight control, and an emotional lift during and
after your runs. Check the three biomechanical markers
listed below to make your running more pleasant and

1. Keep your knees in line: Your knees should track your
feet while you run. Neither feet nor knees should flare
to the sides when running. Improper alignment can cause
injury to ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Trail-
running, while lower-impact than road running, can make
foot-knee alignment difficult; be extra vigilant if you
choose to run trails on a regular basis.

2. Stride length: The best stride length for you is one
that allows you to run smoothly. Many runners make the
mistake of over-extending their running strides. While
a longer stride is more efficient for speed, it may make
inroads into your endurance capacity. Choose a stride
length where you can comfortably run about three steps
per second and where you can minimize your impact with
the running surface as much as possible.

3. Upper body: Keep your arms and hands relaxed. Allow
them to swing freely as you run. Bend your arms at the
elbows. Your arms act as levers while running, and shorter
levers are moved more efficiently with less drain on your
endurance. Your trunk should be upright to keep your
center-of-gravity. . .centered!

These three items, when properly attended to, help you
to run faster, longer, and with less risk of injury.
Running should be fun. Pay attention to efficient
technique so yours stays that way!

F Running
founder Libby Laufterle invites you to visit
her one-stop running resource:

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